Our Top 3 Studio Lighting Kits For All Skill Levels
Published 14th December 2018
Most photographers start their career with a camera and that’s about it. But as their interest in photography grows, and the projects they are commissioned to do become more complex, most find that just a camera won’t cut it anymore.
Commercial photography work typically requires a few more pieces of equipment and accessories. Before you start panicking and creating a mental list of all the gear you may need, you’ll be pleased to know that setting yourself up with some basic studio lighting equipment and photography accessories aren't as expensive as you might expect.
In fact, decent lighting and gear can start from around $200, which after spending thousands on your camera, lenses and gear is a great affordable and reasonable lighting solution. You’ll be shooting like Annie Leibovitz in no time!
Beginner Studio Lighting Kits
A major benefit of investing in a lighting kit is that these are designed to help you get the most out of your photos and help you create consistent lighting.
If you’re after a continuous studio lighting kit for beginners, the Hypop Double Rectangle Softbox kit is an excellent choice for photographers just getting their feet wet—and it’s decently priced at just under $200.
The kit includes two softboxes, two high powered studio daylight rated fluorescent bulbs and two stands. The softbox kit is the perfect double lighting package and is ideally suited for taking the perfect product catalogue, glamour, model, professional photos and videos.
If two softboxes don't quite do the job we also have a Triple Softbox Lighting Kit with Boom which is great for giving you that bit of extra light, which we know to be the most important thing.
This three-point lighting setup is ideal for photo and video as you have the flexibility to set up up one key light, one fill light and one boom, hair or background light as required. Compared to a light setup which is limited to just one light on either side to get even lighting. More lighting is always better than not enough! The great thing is this jam-packed Triple Softbox Lighting Kit will only set you back $280, it’s a steal!
If fluorescent isn’t your thing and you’re after something with a longer lifespan that doesn’t produce much heat, we also have our Hypop ‘Kreator Kit’ Double Rectangular Dimmable LED Lighting Kit ($250) which is a great continuous LED lighting solution. The great thing about this kit is that the lights are not only dimmable but also colour changeable so you can go from 3000k to 6500k. They also come with a hand remote that easily allows you to change the brightness and temperature during a shoot. You can check out our video below to see the softbox up close.
If you feel as though you are confident enough with your camera and lighting skills to move into flash lighting, then look no further than the Godox Starter 800W Studio Flash Lighting Kit. This kit provides you with two 400W flash heads which are guaranteed to capture that perfect shot every time, regardless of however much natural light is available, this flash lighting kit will overpower most ambient lighting allowing you to control the lighting environment in your studio.
This kit features a pair of Godox SK400ii strobe heads, heavy duty stands, a pair of large 95cm octagon softboxes, Godox X1 trigger & Godox carry bag. It’s a great investment for photographers just getting started with flash lighting and will cost around $895.
Intermediate Studio Lighting Kits
So you’re getting more confident with your shooting and drawing in more and more clients each week and you feel as though your gear just isn’t giving you what you need. Well, our Fashion Lookbook Kit is the answer!
The Hypop Fashion Lookbook Lighting Kit is a great all-in-one kit perfect for photographers in the fashion industry. This kit will have you producing beautiful, high-quality images that are both fashion, editorial, and lookbook worthy.
With every lighting tool you could need to showcase your collection in the best light, this kit includes two octagonal softboxes, two Godox QS-400II flash strobes, a Godox X-Pro trigger, a heavy-duty backdrop stand with a paper roll in the colour of your choice, and backdrop pegs. For less than $1500, it’s a great choice when setting up a studio.
If a versatile lighting solution is what you’re after, something that can shoot both professional photos and videos, the Aputure HR672W kit is the answer.
This continuous LED lighting kit is one of the most popular continuous lighting kits in the range. The kit comes with the most advanced Aputure HR672 LED lighting panels, light stands & boom arm.
This continuous lighting solution is perfect for intermediate photographers looking to take their photography to the next level, at around $1250 it’s a great investment. The steady light source allows you to get the same professional lighting as seen on TV and in Hollywood.
Professional Studio Lighting Kit
Adding more accessories to your repertoire doesn’t hurt, and will allow you to expand your portfolio, diversify your projects, and learn some new things about lighting along the way.
When it comes to superior LED photography lights, the C120d II Light Storm LED Video Studio Light is the top choice for many. It’s a best seller that’s been redesigned from the original C120d to be 25 per cent brighter with an even finer dimming range. It’s quiet light and has an integrated cooling system built in.
It shouldn’t go without mentioning that the C120d II Light Storm has DMX512 capability, which is the worldwide industry standard of lighting control for film, television, and theatre. This kit makes an excellent addition to any professional studio.
This complete kit includes the Aputure C120d II Lightstorm, a Light Dome II softbox and heavy duty light stand, which will cost just under $1600.
If you loved the Hypop Fashion Lookbook Kit but you’ve outgrown the QS400II flash strobes, then the Fashion Lookbook Upgrade to the QT400IIM Flash Strobes is the answer.
This handy upgrade gives you all the studio gear you need including two octagonal softboxes, a Godox X-Pro trigger, a heavy-duty backdrop stand with a paper roll in the colour of your choice, backdrop pegs with the two upgraded QT400IIM flash strobes.
The QT400IIM flashes offer faster recycle times and sturdier overall build quality. This is a perfect studio kit for any professional photographer. You’ll be Annie Leibovitz in no time with this complete kit!
BONUS TIP! Portable Studio Lighting Solutions for Photographers on the Go
Sometimes studio gear can feel limiting particularly when you have to travel for clients or shoot on-location. Having a portable lighting option to add to your gear is a great way to get the best of both worlds. We have collated some of our favourite portable flash lighting gear below.
The extremely portable AD200 from Godox is small but mighty, offering great results even in the trickiest of lighting situations. If portability is high on your priority list, this flash is the one for you, it’s so compact it can even fit in your back pocket and has the output equivalent to about 3 standard speedlight flashes.
Even with its small size, it still offers up to 500 full power flashes for each battery cycle and recycle time of between 0.01-2.1 seconds. For just under $450 it’s an excellent price for an even better flash.
If the AD200 isn’t quite cutting it and you are needing a bit more power, the AD400Pro is a great step-up. The great thing about the AD400 is even though it’s bigger and more powerful than the AD200 it’s still extremely portable and comes with a handy carry bag. It features interchangeable flash mounts including Bowens, Profoto, Elinchrom and Broncolor (mounts sold separately) so you’re able to mount a vast range of lighting modifiers to shape your light.
This flash strobe yields great results and will have you feeling like a pro in no time. No matter where a client may take you, you can take this trusty flash along for the ride. Feel free to check out the video below, which shows an unboxing and our thoughts on the kit.
For even more output we suggest upgrading to the AD600Pro, which gives you 600W of power and a faster recycle time. The adaptability of this strobe to be both portable via battery and permanent in a studio with AC makes it a practical and useful flash strobe to have as part of your gear.
The flash strobe on its own is around $1195, or you can get it as part of the Godox AD600Pro Professional Portable Flash Strobe Lighting Kit which is around $3050 but has all you need to set yourself up. The complete kit comes with two AD600Pros, two heavy duty light stands, a pair of large 120cm collapsible octagon softboxes, Godox X1 trigger and Godox lighting kit roller bag to house it all in.
Check out our unboxing and review below to see our take on this lighting kit.
Don’t forget to tag #hypopfeatures and show us how you are using your lights! Happy creating!